Here at the official 2011 press launch for Shimano’s 5th generation XTR group, we’re among the first to get hands on and on-dirt time with the Japanese brand’s totally redesigned top end group.
For our rides, we’ll be kicking the tires on their Trail setup with the triple chainring and their new XTR wheels, the XC double crankset stuff hasn’t hit our shores yet.Â At the first little round up, they had some prototypes of the new group, shown above as a pile. Perhaps the most wild concept was in the brake levers. They also had a small assortment of final production spec items, which we weighed and photo’d.
UPDATE: The full group was weighed and posted here.
Jump past the break to see close ups of the guinea pigs and new items on the scale…
2011 Shimano XTR Rear Derailleur – Short Cage – 174g (click here for the original announcement of the 2011 XTR with full specs and claimed weights).
2011 XTR Front Derailler – Direct Mount – 132g (keep in mind, this is just one of many different front der configurations offered).
2011 XTR XC Crankset – Double – 634g (I’ll have to double check the tooth count and update)
Various derailleur designs. Obviously, they start testing with alloy cages, but end up with carbon.
An early double chainring prototype.
An early engineering play makes for interesting leverage on the piston shaft and lever feel, but in the end they went with a simpler and much smoother looking single pivot brake lever with tube-shaped reservoir.
Closeup of the mechanical leverage lever concept.
Inside a shift lever prototype.
The brakes have external fins to reduce heat by 50%. Combined with the new rotors, heat is drastically reduced over standard rotors and calipers.
They had two sets of oversized chain sections to show the differences between their 10-speed road and mountain bike chains. The road (Blue, Dura-Ace) and the mountain bike (Red, XTR) use different chamfered edge profiles to match up with the rings and improve performance over just using a standard 10-speed chain. Also note that the road chain has stamped out inner links to save a little weight.Â Above, the outer chamfers highlighted by the colored sections, below, the inner edges: